All fields of inquiry require Logic. Logic must be followed wherever its implications and interconnections lead, to all legitimate, logical possibilities. This is as true for psychology and theology as it is for science and philosophy. There is no way around it.
[See Preface to entry Principles and Assumptions to Guide the Search for Reality and Truth]
What is Logic?
Logic is Consciousness, minding the store, keeping watch over all that is. Logic is our guide to making it possible to explain Consciousness and the origin of the universe and Life. All human endeavor, all of its art and science, is defined and powered by the implications and interconnections of Logic. The only limits on its scope are the misperceptions and limbic system emotions driven by human self-interest.
Logic oversees the contents of Intuition’s collective Memory from Reality-Creation. It does so to protect its purity from contamination by illogic. Logic is Perfection. Logic’s perfection is protection, the boundaries of order that both contain and protect the Innocence of Mind-Love and Free Will at the core of Creation. Logic is Sanctuary. Logic is the Home of Psyche, the Soul of Innocence. Logic is our Home in Reality.
Logic requires systems thinking
All that is needed to open any question to Logic – to the free spirit of inquiry – is to broaden its context: from self-interest to humanity’s interest. Where “humanity’s interest” includes not only the physical limits of body but the possibility of another reality of limitless, immaterial Mind. Context broadened from parts of the system to the system as a whole. All that is needed to liberate Logic to do its job is a systems approach that begins and ends with systems thinking. With thoughts of intellect aided but not distracted or misled by senses of body, by appearances. With an uncompromising will to comprehend that discriminates between what is Real and what is unreal.
All because Logic is Context. To address any question logically is to apply Mind-Love to place it in the broadest possible Context from which is derived the purpose and meaning of everything. From the specifics that make up a situation, the circumstances that define it. Not from the top down but always logically from the ground up, with a systems approach that welcomes input from all relevant sources.
Logic synthesizes judgment’s purpose and meaning to govern, to maintain order and harmony from the bottom up. It’s the only source of system because it’s the only source of synthesis. Because it produces the all-important controlling consideration that integrates. Logic = context = purpose and meaning = judgment. What the situation calls for. What our situation calls for, that begins and ends with Logic.
Logic is governance. Logic is context.
Logic is governance. It requires the broadest context conceivable for Judgment, the whole system “integrating humanistic ideal” (Strevens 270) that’s only definable if all parts of the system are accounted for. Logic needs parts to fit together in harmony not for aesthetic reasons but so they function as a whole for a purpose: to extend and expand Knowledge through discovery, Creation through new Life, and Worth through its affirmation and reciprocation. The validation of Being and all that its stance implies: the Innocence of Oneness, Life infinite and eternal, Freedom of thought, choice, and expression, the Beauty of purity, the Protection of structure -- everything of importance that we associate with “Life.”
Logic is context. It is purpose and meaning that imposes and extends itself to govern the many parts of Reality-Creation through its agents: Parents Mind-Love and their Child, whose Free Will gives all of Creation its meaning.
“Reasoning” from a questionable given leads to questionable interpretation
“Science. . . requires of its practitioners the strategic suppression of . . . the highest element of human nature, the rational mind.” (Strevens 8) The point is made on behalf of science’s “iron rule of explanation” propounded in The Knowledge Machine, and it is well taken in its context. What cannot be well taken is scientific “reasoning” that places the biases of an entire discipline as well as individual practitioners above Logic.
Physics is an important input on the storyline of matter’s reality or unreality. But because it defines its subject rigidly as matter to the exclusion of Mind it cannot be the only input. It can pursue humanity’s “quest for knowledge” but it’s not qualified to define it. And it’s certainly not qualified to own or control it. Not so long as its body-centered mis-interpretation of quantum mechanics is illogic and the illogic remains unexplained.
Logic might be thought of as a pure distillate of Mind, similar in concept to the iron rule of science articulated in The Knowledge Machine. Its primary concern is not with all the attributes of Creation but with only one: their alignment with the implications and interconnections of Logic. “Reasoning” that begins with a given that’s out of alignment with Logic can only lead to misinterpretation: failure to grasp the meaning of its findings. Not letting the implications of Logic guide the search blinds us to the Truth.
A given that’s out of alignment with Logic
A given that’s out of alignment with Logic is hard-wired into the science of physics: the reality of the body and its sensed physical environment. Not illogical because the opposite is true but because it’s an open philosophical question. Settled in the minds of the majority but unsettled in serious, credible thought pre-dating Plato. Illogical not only because it’s an open philosophical question but because physics is closed to philosophy itself:
For the great majority of contemporary scientists, there is nothing in the least unreasonable about the iron rule’s exclusion of religious considerations from scientific argument. The same is true of the rule’s exclusion of philosophical argument. Most physicists regard it as a waste of time . . . to search for an understanding of quantum mechanics that renders it humanly comprehensible. . . . [T]hey say – ‘Shut up and calculate.’ The physicist Steven Weinberg goes further: ‘I know of no one who has participated in the advance of physics in the postwar period whose research has been significantly helped by the work of philosophers.’ (Strevens 209-210)
Why haven’t philosophers helped?
Philosophers are thought to be mystics, religious figures, bullshit artists – anything divorced from reality. The discipline as a whole is seen as millennia of people chasing down big questions – What is the meaning of life? Why is there suffering? -- and coming back without any good answers. . . . [W]hile most philosophers of physics are analytic, most of the philosophers from the past seventy years that you’ve heard of are probably Continental . . . philosophers like Sartre, Camus, Foucault, Derrida, and Zizek. . . [who] tend to be much more suspicious of scientific claims about knowledge and truth than their analytic colleagues. . . . Given [their] attitude. . , it’s not terribly surprising that scientists have disdain for all philosophers. . . . (Becker 273)
Unexamined faith in the reality of matter is religion
Philosophy closed to science and science closed to philosophy would make for entertaining science fiction if it weren’t fatal to the search for Reality and Truth. But Becker still has faith in philosophy:
Philosophers of physics, and most other philosophers, are far removed from this picture: they work on well-defined questions with logical rigor and with input from the most recent developments in science and from the immediate experiences of the senses. How the practice and the image of philosophy have diverged so wildly is a subject for an entirely different book. . . . (Becker 273-274) (emphasis added)
Philosophers of physics may be guided by the immediate experiences of the senses but “most other philosophers” doing so are by no means the only ones working with “logical rigor.” An entire strain of Western thought, from Parmenides and Plato on, prefers answers from mind, intuition, and reason to what we can learn from bodies and matter. Rationalists, idealists, and subjectivists arrayed against positivists, realists, and objectivists – philosophy’s great divide. Becker’s title, What Is Real?, like quantum mechanics itself, hints at philosophical fireworks. A step toward reconciliation or at least a fresh perspective. Maybe even a breakthrough in Logic. But it’s not to be. The promise of originality stifled once again by the sacred premise: “the immediate experiences of the senses.”
It isn’t the responsibility of scientists bound by the iron rule to philosophize about the meaning of quantum mechanics. Their suspicion of mainstream philosophy, likewise body-centered and baffled by quantum mechanics, may be fair. But it doesn’t negate the need for philosophy that’s mind-centered, whose insights from Logic permeate the history of Western and Eastern thought. The difference between body- and mind-centered is the difference between mind closed to logical possibilities and mind open. To be fair to Logic’s heritage, physics needs to acknowledge that its own unexamined faith in the reality of matter is philosophy. It’s the last thing science ought to be: religion.
When matter reaches the level of the Absolute
Plato sought in the ascendance of Mind over the coarseness of body an expression of virtue to match the elegance and beauty of the cosmos, itself an expression of the divinity of the “Good”. If “realism” requires religious faith in bodies’ sensory perception his philosophy could not part with it, yet it was allowed to stand during the iconoclasm perpetrated by the Church. For both clung tenaciously if incongruously to body and to God.
Einstein the realist was moved by the elegance and beauty of the cosmos to express all of Creation in the elegance and beauty of a mathematical formula. Though he failed he remained a deist, believer in a prime mover not otherwise involved in its Creation.
Hawking stuck it to the Church with his no-boundary cosmos: Creation without the need for a Creator. An “atheist” who substitutes one supreme being for another is no atheist. Who substitutes the god of bodies and their sensed environment -- matter, the stuff of physics, which needs no more justification for its elegance and beauty, its divinity, than it’s there -- is no atheist.
All three of these singular minds were engaged in a very human search for God, who found in matter, the cosmos, an expression of what they were looking for: Creation elevated by “realism,” stunning in its unrealism, to the status of its own Creator. The intellectual convenience of not having to part with what seems certain and obvious to believe in what isn’t certain and obvious. Made possible by parting with Logic, the only honest way to question – to think about – anything. Because the only premise Logic will accept, the only “given,” is the sanctity, the inviolability, of the search for Reality and Truth. Not the inviolability of matter, the sanctity of bodies that sense it, but the inviolability and sanctity of Logic.
Logic knows the difference between givens and not-givens
Why, then, is Logic not made the iron rule of thought that would govern the scientific method? Why does the scientific method allow itself to compromise objectivity under the guise of defending it?
The iron rule of all serious thought should be Logic that knows the difference between givens and not-givens. That knows better than to follow physics’ denial of the uncertainty of its founding premise: the premise laid down by Aristotle, that matter is real. Aristotle, who preferred to follow the body into biology rather than the mind into Plato’s philosophy and brought us to quantum mechanics, particle-waves mocking Sherlock Holmes’ bloodhounds. Sniffing their way into mazes from which they can’t sniff their way out.
Is this any improvement on the uncertainties, the “vagueness” of philosophy? Cloaking quantum mechanics in the Copenhagen Interpretation or any other question-begging sophistry may put off the day of reckoning for one profession, but it doesn’t serve the interests of Logic or of humanity, its supposed beneficiary.
Logic is the iron rule of Reality-Creation
Why is Logic the route to Consciousness? To awakening to Reality-Creation?
It would be so if this is one of its primary functions: to sit in judgment on whether the Logic of a Creation qualifies it for entry into Reality. Whether it aligns with the Logic, the perfection, of Reality-Creation. Its authority, its power and ability to govern, rests on the Necessity of its laws of cause and effect. If any trace of imperfection, of illogic, were allowed entry all of Reality-Creation would collapse. If any trace of imperfection penetrated the process of Creation it would stop the process in its tracks. Without the protection of Logic Being might cease to be.
Just as the iron rule of science is there to prevent its contamination, the iron rule of Reality-Creation – Logic – is there to prevent its contamination. The iron rule of science has no validity or force if it does not also incorporate the Necessity of Logic’s laws of cause and effect.
How to make sense of quantum mechanics
How can Logic help physics make sense of quantum mechanics? Help unify it with relativity to produce quantum gravity. Is either possible?
Logic sorts things out by making distinctions. Distinctions necessary for definitions, definitions necessary to establish roles and relationships so the implications of Logic fit together – interconnect -- logically. Physics that walls itself off from logical implications disables its ability to make distinctions. It renders itself unable to intuit and think logically. It gets stuck in artificial givens. The route to a higher level of the search for Reality-Truth must be cleared of logical obstructions, not cluttered with them.
Electromagnetism and Relativity originated with Michael Faraday’s and Albert Einstein’s intuition -- from their imaginations. They were theories produced by Logic, the same as Democritus intuiting atoms without scientific instruments or experiments.
Give the iron rule of scientific experimentation and explanation, based on sensory perception, its due. Let science submit theories to “proof.” But intuition and theory are just as much “science” as the iron rule. What they owe their legitimacy to is Logic, which is its own iron rule: interconnections of implications that must fit. The fitness and harmony of Logic’s interconnections can’t be obstructed by illogical givens. Taking one side of any open philosophical issue as a given, like the reality or unreality of matter, may do wonders for biases but it does nothing for the search for Reality and Truth.
“In science, only empirical reasoning counts.” (Strevens 205). Let this be true for the narrow definition assigned by Strevens to the iron rule of some science. What is logically implied by other science -- quantum mechanics -- is that empirical reasoning leads to a dead end. No amount of disciplinary rigor can turn contradiction into confluence, chaos into order, singularity into comprehension. Becker has faith that yet more scientific experiments will change that. Yes, and humanity will colonize other planets, and pigs will fly.
So, to be honest, not all of science agrees with Strevens. One kind stands for something quite different: matter not only relational to itself but also relational to Mind. Meaning assigned not to any one discipline but to a much broader context: to systems thinking in service to Logic, that requires input from every relevant source. Where physics is relegated to its place in Hawking’s no-boundary universe: one galaxy among many.
How can Logic help physics make sense of quantum mechanics? By abandoning its “quest for knowledge” that can make sense only in terms of the world we have always known. By replacing it with a search for Reality and Truth, guided by Logic, that’s open to understanding – by imagining -- a world we haven’t known. Reality that in a state of unreality may not be “knowable” but can at least be Intuited. Can be understood.
What price a fresh approach?
Just as Becker’s What Is Real? hints at a fresh approach to quantum mechanics, Stevens’ The Knowledge Machine hints at a fresh approach to humanity’s quest for knowledge. But where both argue for carrying on as before Strevens acknowledges that there will be a cost, and humanity can no longer ignore it.
The fresh approach The Knowledge Machine hints at is nothing new:
[A] humanistic ideal of knowing. . . upholds an integrating conception of knowledge, according to which the surest path to the most important truths brings together all sources of insight: philosophical, spiritual, poetic, mathematical, experimental, as well as everyday experience of the world. . . . Although humanism in my sense is amply represented in Renaissance thought, it is far wider in scope. Aristotle, for example, is a paragon of my sort of humanism, mingling philosophical argumentation with observation, explanatory speculation, and a little theology. (Strevens 270-271)
But, citing the example of Newton, Strevens argues that it’s not for science to follow the example of Aristotle:
. . . The personification of science . . . [Isaac] Newton. . . quite deliberately failed to integrate these investigations. . . . It is the Newtonian university’s taciturn specialization that is the better route to knowledge. Whatever is lost through detachment and disregard for the grand view of life is more than recompensed by the narrow, tightly focused beam that searches out the diminutive but telling fact. (Strevens 272)
Logic offers the only possibility for a worldview
What’s new is, in the Anthropocene era, “the diminutive but telling fact” is no match for global issues like climate change. Nor are fields of inquiry pursuing individual agendas. The systems approach that Logic calls for is known by another name:
Interpretation [of the IPCC reports] requires a worldview . . . ‘if we care about the future, we have to learn to engage with subjective analyses.’. . . Science. . . is blind to worldviews altogether. The unstinting focus that results is what makes science so inexorable a stalker of knowledge. To fathom all the knowledge it finds, however, we must bring our subjectivity to the task, looking into the monster’s mind with human eyes. In this one crucial respect, the radical subjectivists are right. (Strevens 289) (emphasis added)
Science is not at all “blind to worldviews.” It’s assumption that the universe of spacetime and matter is real is a worldview of the first magnitude. Its view, moreover, that its assumption is beyond question deprives it of intellectual rigor and objectivity. This is what makes the iron rule of science a “monster,” not that it’s a “stalker of knowledge.’ All that it’s “stalking” is what can be learned from Aristotle’s study of matter, by no means a comprehensive “quest for knowledge.” The scope of Knowledge, an attribute of Being, exceeds by far the scope of matter. Science assigning to itself a commanding role in what Aristotle started is logically justifiable. Doing so for the much broader search for Reality and Truth is not.
As for “radical subjectivists,” objectivists and so-called “realists” have had the upper hand in the West and the East going back to Aristotle. Probably forever. So whose worldview got humanity into this mess? Who’s “radical?”
The push for integration: a collective effort governed by Logic
The various disciplines – science, philosophy, psychology, theology – seem not to be aware that they can’t be expected to make sense of what they’re finding without context. The search for “meaning” in quantum mechanics through more theories, experiments, and discoveries by physics is the definition of irrationality: doing the same thing and expecting different results. Would it not make more sense to submit the discoveries of physics to Logic that cuts across different fields, so it can fit everything together in a broader context? In the context of the whole system?
Disciplines must rigorously distinguish themselves from other disciplines at an operational level. Resisting contamination by philosophy, psychology, and theology at this level is appropriate for physics. How else can it fashion its own iron rules and rigorously police itself? But doing so at the level of Logic would be obtuse. Logic is the only level where a whole-system context necessary to defining purpose and meaning is possible.
At the level of Logic all disciplines must just as rigorously and aggressively push for integration. For the search for Reality and Truth has come to an inflection point: its evolution from lines of inquiry going it alone operationally, following their own rules, to the addition of a higher layer: a collective effort governed by Logic. Each discipline should be training practitioners in the discipline of Logic to collaborate not compete. To fit discoveries and insights into a whole system context. Without it there can be no “we” to undertake the work that needs to be done. To think collectively. As community. As family. In other words, to think logically. The survival of humanity may require no less.
Adam Becker, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics (Basic Books 2018)
Michael Strevens, The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science (Liveright Publishing 2020)